Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Academic Economics War

By Professor Doom

     I know I pick on Women’s Studies often; I have many issues with this particular field of “study,” namely that it isn’t one. There’s another field that sure looks like it should be a legitimate academic topic, which nevertheless bears even more claim to absolute scorn: economics. It isn’t simply because economics departments succumb to ideology more than academics, but because academia’s current beliefs in the field are so blatantly wrong.

      Our nation’s top economist is Krugman (arguably, Karl Marx), and he favors the Keynesian approach to economics: if you print a great deal of money, you’ll create wealth in a country, due to animal spirits. I’m simplifying greatly, of course, but the bottom line is our country has been making economic decisions based on pagan aspects of Keynesian theory for decades now, ever since WW2.

     Now, Keynesianism was attributed to much of the country’s success after WW2, but I feel this is being generous. The United States was about the only industrialized country that didn’t get bombed down to ruins during that war, and this alone gave the country a huge economic advantage in the decade immediately afterward.

     Today the country’s wealth has dribbled away, and we’re at a level of debt that mathematically can never be legitimately paid off…and getting deeper in debt all the time. Again, according to Keynesians like Krugman, debt creates wealth. We’ve been practicing this policy for years, and I’m really not convinced we as a people are that much wealthier from all the debt (even if the people at the top are raking it in).

      This alone isn’t enough to cast aspersions on our current economic model for prosperity. There’s more. In valid academic study, when evidence contradicts your theory, you change your theory.

       Random things happen; even a skilled basketball player will miss a shot, a great runner will trip near the finish line, a stray iceberg can sink even the most well-designed ship. However, if a great basketball player misses every single shot, the runner always falls, or ships of the same design keep crashing into icebergs…you have to consider if your underlying assumptions are wrong and it’s not just bad luck.

       That’s the real issue with Keynesianism. The big crash of 1987 was considered a “6 sigma” event, an event so rare that, on a daily basis, you’d expect to see it every few billion years or so. The big Nasdaq crash in 2000 was another 6 sigma event. The big crash in 2008 was another 6 sigma event…all but impossible to believe happened. I’m not the only one to notice that statistically what we’re seeing is statistically impossible, but the end conclusion is clear:

    There’s no way Keynesian theory can be valid, and we can also have multi-billion to one events, as predicted by that theory, occur every 10 years or so.

Keynes: “In the long run, we’re all dead.”

--Keynes knew his kooky theories would lead to total disaster, and this was his response to the people who also understand his theories would end to complete failure eventually. But he figured he’d be dead when it happened, and he had no children to care about, so it wasn’t his concern. Shouldn’t we factor Keynes’ own understanding of his economics into our assessment of these theories?

     In the face of obvious, repeated, demonstrations that our accepted economic theories are wrong, what we should do is change the accepted theories. While this should have happened years ago, it hasn’t. Keynesianism is a government-friendly theory, and, hey, most of the money flowing onto our campuses and into our economics departments comes from government. So, no way for there to be a serious change…unless someone besides the government is willing to pay for it.

     Lookie here:

New Koch-backed institute at the University of Utah is raising questions about academic freedom and whether the center is designed to compete with Utah’s existing economics department.

     Now, I’m pretty sure Koch has “a drop” of blood on his hands, but when it comes to advancement of human knowledge, especially turning away from the dealth-cult mysticism of Keynesianism, I’m willing to overlook where the money is coming from…the money coming from government is already doing great harm, and is soaked in blood, after all. Koch’s couldn’t possibly be more tainted.

      So, Koch is plunking down tens of millions of dollars to build a new economics department on campus, one that will investigate the non-government friendly theories of Libertarian economics.

      It’s extremely interesting to me, that every time a fiefdom (and associated administrative palace) springs up on campus, there’s not a peep of complaint. I’ve been in higher education for years, and I’ve never seen admin or faculty complain when more money pours on campus.

      But, now, the complaints are widespread over getting enough money for 7 (yes, just 7) faculty and $1.6 million for student scholarships:

Some 18 professors from the economics department, along with 176 others on campus (mostly faculty members), signed a statement of concern about the institute submitted to the Academic Senate’s Executive Committee this summer. And on Monday the Senate approved a resolution charging a recently established faculty committee with the additional task of reviewing policies and procedures for approving institutes and centers.

     All those dogs not barking are really bothering me. A university can commit $1,000,000 a year to fight racism in response to a “hate crime” that never happened…and silence. Our universities can have dozens of $250,000 a year vice presidents of Diversity working hard to start riots…and silence. Campuses can spend millions teaching students about deviant sexual practices…and silence. I’ve documented many cases of many millions of dollars being spent on ridiculously detrimental things and my blog is about the only place to complain about the clear misuse of funds…everyplace else is silent.

     But set up a department to research a way to prosperity that doesn’t involve enriching the political caste, paid for with money not even coming from the government (though it’s fair to ask where Koch got his money), and 176 admin and faculty complain.

     On general principle, I have to be for this. I can’t even wrap my mind around the complaints:

     The “funding agreement between the Charles Koch Foundation and the University of Utah raises serious concerns about the principles and practice of intellectual independence and academic freedom,"

     Academic freedom? Seriously? Now it’s a problem? Our academics today tend to be anonymous when they say things, because saying the wrong thing can get you fired, quickly. Questioning the narrative in any form is career suicide. But hiring 7 faculty is going to be a threat to academic freedom? I almost wonder if this complaint is a joke.

The letter, which also recommends “vigilant…oversight by senior university leadership…for everyone affiliated with this institute,”

      Again, the thought that they are joking comes to mind. Nothing says freedom like “vigilant oversight by admin,” am I right?

    They want to watch everyone.


     In the name of freedom.

     I couldn’t make up something this offensive to freedom if I tried.

      What are they afraid of that they feel the need to watch a handful of economists so closely? Are they afraid the economists will come up with a theory that supports our government going $20 trillion in debt, debt that will bankrupt the country? Are they afraid the economists will support a Ponzi scheme entitlement welfare plan that is guaranteed to go bankrupt? Are they afraid the economists will create a fiat currency system that will bankrupt most of the citizens? Are they afraid they will say the way to solve our economic problems is to bankrupt the country by preparing for a theoretical invasion of aliens from outer space like top economist Krugman believes?

     Seriously, how could Koch’s economists have worse ideas than the government economists we use now?

     I’m very suspicious of billionaires slathering their money over things, but the more the university complains, the more I’m fine with Koch funding this. I emphasize: the “leaders” running this place think you’ll get more freedom from vigilant oversight by commissars.

      So what if Koch will control one small department with his money? With the current standard of competence at this university, and the standard for competence among economics, I’m interested to see how Koch could possibly be any worse.